Off-Panel: 6 Legacy Characters (7 if We Count Iron People)

Welcome to Off-Panel, your weekly digest of comics news, from the gutters and beyond.

It’s all very sad and surreal. So much is left unfinished for her. She was a firehose of brilliant ideas that never turned off.

We loved her and everything is weird now.

Cancer took Drawn & Quarterly artist Geneviève Elverum née Castrée. It’s just been gut punch after gut punch this past week, hasn’t it? Helping Geneviève’s husband and 18-month-old chips away at the powerlessness gripping so many of us right now. You can also check out some of Geneviève’s work. I’m going to go surreptitiously dry my face with my toddler’s curls, then find us some comics news that will make us feel a bit better.

Perhaps the most memorable of Chalice’s precursors are Alysia Yeoh, a roommate of DC’s Batgirl, whom writer Gail Simone revealed in 2013 was transgender, and Wanda in the 1993 A Game of You arc of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. But Chalice has moved beyond their secondary status into a comic’s central focus.

According to the Guardian, AfterShock’s Alters will feature the first transgender superhero. It sounds like it’s also got a pretty diverse creative team. The Guardian is all about the comics representation news this week; read their piece on Marisol Rios De La Luz, a.k.a. La Boriqueña.

The concept of a legacy character opens up the door for writers and artists to continue to push creative boundaries and explore possible storylines that would otherwise be limited or simply un-tellable if the character in question stayed the same.

Blastr gives you the examples you can point to when you shut down the haters who object to Riri Williams telling Tony Stark to take a beat. Plus, it does so while acknowledging that diverse new characters, however great they are, do not actually make the comics industry less homogenous (read: white and male).

I feel that red, yellow, and blue are your strongest color choices for having the most emotional impact. I tend to use red for violence or power, yellow for action sequences and blue for sad, more emotional scenes. These colors are really good to add in emotional beats to break up panels visually for the reader.

Marissa Louise’s interview with Kelly Fitzpatrick is a delightful look at how a colorist brings line drawings to life. You get everything from her educational background to a day-in-the-life breakdown of her time management. Even if you have no aspirations to a career as a colorist, you’re going to want to click on over for the mini Fitzpatrick portfolio Women Write About Comics has assembled throughout the text.

“Muqtatafat” means anthology or selection in Arabic, and comes from the root meaning picking or plucking. The editors have engaged in this activity by including 14 short, illustrated narratives—pickings that, as they themselves acknowledge, only begin to capture the robust comics output of the region.

This review of Muqtatafat: A Comics Anthology Featuring Artists from the Middle East Region is something of a longread, but so worth it if only to learn about the vibrant Arab-language comix scene. Jonathan Guyer expresses enormous appreciation for what the book is able to accomplish, but he doesn’t shy away from critiquing geography as an organizing principle. Best of all, his focus is always on the artists. Bookmark it for happier days (they’re coming, right?) and then spend as much time as you need with your Pokémon.

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